The Cleveland Indians were one of the charter member of the American League, starting play in 1901, although the origins of the team can be traced even further back. Led by stars Nap Lajoie, Cy Young, Addie Joss and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, Cleveland had potent talent in their lineup and pitching staff.
After the departure of most of their star players, Cleveland suffered through a number of unsuccessful seasons. Nevertheless, changes were beginning to take place. By 1915, Cleveland had a new name: the Indians. By the following season, the team had been sold and new players were brought on board; among these were pitcher Stan Coveleski and outfielder/manager Tris Speaker and shortstop Joe Sewell, all future Hall of Famers.
The investment paid off in 1920 when the Indians won their first World Series 5 games to two against the Brooklyn Robins (now the Los Angeles Dodgers). This was one of four World Series to be played as a best-of-nine series (the others were 1903, 1919 and 1921).
Cleveland eventually returned tot he World Series in 1948, behind the play of pitcher Bob Feller and shortstop/manager Lou Boudreau. The Indians defeated the Boston Braves 4 games to 2.
The previous season, the Indians became the first American League team to break the color barrier when they signed Larry Doby away from the Newark Eagles. The following season, the Indians signed pitcher Satchel Paige. Both were key players in the Indians' World Series victory.
The Indians returned to the World Series in 1954. After having won 111 games during the regular season, the Indians were swept by the New York Giants.
Cleveland would not appear in the World Series again until 1995. The promising season ended in disappointment as the Indians lost in six games to the Atlanta Braves.
It would only take two years for Cleveland to make another World Series appearance. The result was a heartbreaking loss to the Florida Marlins in seven games, despite going into the 9th inning of Game 7 with a lead.
World Series Appearances
Hall of Famers
- 1920: Won 5-2 over the Brooklyn Robins
- 1948: Won 4-2 over the Boston Braves
- 1954: Lost 4-0 to the New York Giants
- 1995: Lost 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves
- 1997: Lost 4-3 to the Florida Marlins
- Earl Averill, outfielder (1929-1939)
- Lou Boudreau, shortstop/manager (1938-1950)
- Steve Carlton, pitcher (1987)
- Stan Coveleski, pitcher (1916-1924)
- Larry Doby, outfielder (1947-1955, 1958)
- Dennis Eckersley, pitcher (1975-1977)
- Bob Feller, pitcher (1936-1956)
- Elmer Flick, outfielder (1901-1910)
- Addie Joss, pitcher (1902-1910)
- Ralph Kiner, outfielder (1955)
- Nap Lajoie, 2nd Base (1902-1914)
- Bob Lemon, pitcher (1941-1958)
- Al Lopez, catcher/manager (Player: 1947; Manager: 1951-1956)
- Eddie Murray, 1st Base (1994-1996)
- Hal Newhouser, pitcher (1954-1955)
- Phil Niekro, pitcher (1986-1987)
- Satchel Paige, pitcher (1948-1949)
- Gaylord Perry, pitcher (1972-1975)
- Sam Rice, outfielder (1934)
- Frank Robinson, outfielder (1974-1976)
- Joe Sewell, shortstop (1920-1930)
- Billy Southworth, outfielder (1913)
- Tris Speaker, outfielder/manager (Player: 1916-1926; Manager: 1919-1926)
- Hoyt Wilhelm, pitcher (1957-1958)
- Dick Williams, outfielder/3rd Base (1957)
- Dave Winfield, outfield (1995)
- Early Wynn, pitcher (1949-1957, 1963)
- Cy Young, pitcher (1909-1911)
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